Politics

N30,000 minimum wage: Federal Government cannot decide what states would pay – Governors

Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State

Kayode Fayemi, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), says that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) could not decide for states what to pay regarding the minimum wage salary adjustments.

The Ekiti State governor noted that no state would be able to pay above her capacity.

The governor who spoke on Monday in Abuja after the NGF meeting noted that FEC cannot determine what happens at the state, saying that each state has an executive council which makes decisions depending on the situation.

Fayemi noted that the executive could not possibly make decision for states because every states have different issues. Every state has its own numbers of workers, its own trade unions, etc.

Read Governor Fayemi’s statement below in parts;

“The forum as the representative body of the states keenly followed what happened in the negotiations that led to that template.

“As far as we are concerned, the best the forum can do is to stick with what has been agreed with the states. States are part of the tripartite negotiations.

“The FEC does not determine what happens at the states. Each state has an executive council which is the highest decision-making organ in the state.

“As far as we are concerned, the states were part of the tripartite discussion and agreed to the N30,000 minimum wage.

“States also know there will be consequential adjustments, but that will be determined by what happens on the state by state basis because there are different numbers of workers at states. There are different issues at states level. Every state has its own trade unions and joint negotiations committee and they will undertake discussions with their state governments.”

“This is about minimum wage increment; yes that may necessitate consequential increment, there is no doubt about it, but that is a matter between the states and their workers.”

“The day after this agreement was reached with labour, it was on record that I was on a national television and made the position of the governors clear. That for us this was a national minimum wage increase, not a general minimum wage review. Yes, that may necessitate consequential increment, we have no doubt about that but that it is a matter for the states to discuss with their workers,’’ he said

NLC, TUC reacts

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in their responses to the Nigerian Governors led by Governor Kayode Fayemi, berated the state governors over the recent statement.

According to the NLC no state could discard the fact that a minimum wage of N30,000 would be at the centre of every negotiation.

“Everybody will negotiate differently based on the state economy but what is sacrosanct is the minimum wage of N30,000 and how that will be adjusted across the board is the function of collective bargaining between the workforce and government,” Emma Ugboaja, the NLC Secretary, told Punch.

The TUC in a statement through its Secretary General, Origi Musa-Lawal, cautioned Governor Fayemi over statement that could trigger agitation in the labour.

“The state governments are only playing games. They were represented in the minimum wage committee. They cannot come around to deny their responsibility. They are simply courting labour anger and we are ready for them.

“Guidelines have not been released by the Federal Government but certainly, we have assurances that the template will soon be released.”

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